Encyclopedia ofChicago
Historical Source
Historical Source
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Portrait of William E. Dever

 

 

 

Portrait of William E. Dever

One of the most famous workers on Goose Island during the 1890s was the future mayor William E. Dever, who came to Chicago from Woburn, Massachusetts in 1887. He was a skilled tannery worker, a whitener, and was drawn to Goose Island by the premium pay ($4/day for nine hours of work). He was employed by Grey, Clark and Engle at the south end of Goose Island near Halsted. Yet Dever put in much longer days than the average tannery worker. After work, he walked back and forth from downtown to the Chicago College of Law. After graduation he worked as a lawyer and eventually moved into local politics, serving first as the area alderman and later as mayor.